Google Way of a Warrant Explainer Video


Voice Over Script for Google Way of a Warrant Explainer Video

In a course of a criminal investigation, some time the government request information on Google users. Here how we protects users information from excess requests and also following the law.

Let’s say the federal authority wants information from Google about user HughDunnit22. Google protects your rights by upholding the fourth amendment.

The law requires authorities to use a search warrant when seeking private content like email. If there is enough evidence to support an application for a search warrant, the investigator heads to court. The judge inspects the application and if satisfied issues the search warrant.

Then it’s served on Google.

First stop? The screener.

The screener sorts and prioritizes the search warrants. If it’s an urgent matter like child safety, it’s given high priority.

Next stop? The producer.

The producer examines warrants, and protects users by catching errors and determining what information to provide. They fix glitches so we don’t access someone else’s account.

Sometime there are illegible or the username is misspelled or the request is meant for a different company.

Sometimes the data request is so vague and broad, we have to go back, narrow down and play catch-up.

So we will get a hold of investigators, to narrow the warrant or go back to court to ask the judge to amend the warrant. If legal and appropriate, Google notifies the user that law enforcement made a data request and looks closely the warrant, to see exactly what data to produce.

Say the FBI wants all the information and content on Hughdunnit22’s account. We will need to clarify.

Hey it’s Google about that warrant.


You need everything for all services?


Gmail, youtube, photos?


That’s a lot of information that may not have anything to do with the case. So, we’ll look to narrow the warrant.

This sounds like a case where only email from last month matters.

How about we go with that?

Ok. That’ll do.

We can then move forward.

We then gather the information, carefully and accurately.


Data is then sent to investigator along with certificate of authenticity.

Matter closed for good?

Not yet.

We may need to show up in court and present the data. A producer may serve as the custodian of records. The custodian of records travels and appears in court. They may travel to authenticate the records, verifying the data is exactly what Google provided.

The records are hereby admitted into evidence. Have a nice flight back.

Matter closed. Let’s reacap.

The judge sign the warrant. The screener sorts it. Producer take over. Oops there’s a problem. Wrong company. Wrong user. Vague request? Broad request? Go back and play catch up.

Whoa! Narrow the scope, okay, time to gather data, gathering, double checking. What’s the cow doing here?

Deliver the data. Now hand it over to the Custodian. He flies to court, authenticates, matter closed.

That’s how we respond to a US search warrant, while working hard to protect our user’s privacy and security.

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